To receive and note the annual report of the Health and Wellbeing Board of the Council.
Consideration was given to a summary report of achievements of the previous year and priorities for the forthcoming year of the Health and Wellbeing Board. These included developing a framework to give every child the best start in life, supporting children’s mental health in schools, ongoing work to support carers and supporting the Covid-safe delivery of Rotherham Show as one of the first in-person large scale events many residents attended since the start of the pandemic. Tackling health inequalities had been the core focus over the last year. In order to ensure that the health of vulnerable residents was improving at the fastest rate possible, a prevention and health inequalities sub-group has been established at place level.
In the coming year, there was an intention to hold a review of the impact of Covid-19 and lessons to be learnt from it. Health inequalities would continue as the uniting theme. Consideration of the changes being brought in through the Health and Care Bill, including to place-level ICP was also needed. Most of the work had taken place over the last year, but changes were still being finalised at the time of reporting. The coming year would also bring refresh of the Health and Wellbeing Strategy, as well as the accompanying action plan to ensure alignment with the reviewed priorities and any place-level changes.
In discussion, Members expressed interest in knowing the distinctions between urban and rural populations, and the differences across the Borough. Members noted the need for an approach to strategies to be Borough-wide, emphasising the role of parks in terms of health. Members also emphasised the importance of working with voluntary and community organisations. The response from the Cabinet Member affirmed the mental and emotional benefits derived from green spaces, and the role of providing for every park. Examples were cited of developing a community park on land that was formerly a council-owned wasteland as well as ambitions for community orchards. The need for volunteers and to enlist the partnership of voluntary organisations were also key. The Director of Public Health added that the next update would report on the health inequalities work around the Place Development Programme was focusing on Wath, Maltby and Dinnington and would span across the Borough. Conversations around being active are ongoing in partnership with South Yorkshire Sport which will build social movement and look at what is happening in communities at sports clubs to derive strategic approaches and keep communities and parish councils informed of the work being done.
What consideration is being given to anti-poverty strategies. The response from the Cabinet Member noted that this is being taken forward on several fronts, especially in response to the cost of living crisis. This has impacts through food, health, heating and housing deprivation as well, therefore it is being taken forward. In terms of tackling health inequalities, the Director of Public Health noted the work that happens through RIDO and through Improving Places and Improving Lives. The work of the Health and Wellbeing Board is key to that work.
Are there any indications of the future of the board HWBB. Our area is characterised by NHS colleagues being willing to work with the HWBB. The response from the Cabinet Member noted that Better Care Fund comes through HWBB, and there have been discussions about how that might evolve. It is significant funding that supports discharge and reenablement. The current White Paper has set up the Integrated Care Partnerships, and Health and Wellbeing Boards are still in the structure. But it is not clear what further changes may come.
Members noted the strengths of the JSNA resource and the desire to see overviews and narrative information. Further there was a need to be proactive and to think outside the box to get people talking and moving and to inspire culture shifts in communities. The response from the Cabinet Member noted the JSNA seminar was coming up for Members. It was also noted that a regional half day conference on health inequalities had been proposed with Professor Chris Bentley coming along as the special guest. The Cabinet Member noted that life expectancy was going down across the country, the determinants of which were far beyond the scope of the Health and Wellbeing Board because they have to do with cutting services, deprivation, housing shortages, low incomes and austerity. Decreases in healthy life expectancy were especially significant as this is where the real differences are felt.
1. That the report be noted.
2. That the Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment be circulated to Members when available.
3. That Members feed into the work of the Health and Wellbeing Board on the subject of health inequalities.